Decision making

Q. Human decision about something is influenced by logical reasoning of the mind as well as by the look of the object. Elaborate with suitable examples. 10 marks

2 thoughts on “Decision making”

  1. Decision making is influenced by the following factors:
    1) Utility and Probability related to the available choices
    – The value/utility associated with the choice plays as an important factor for deciding
    For example, On a Sunday if you want to decide about taking a break or completing the H/W for next week, the decision would depend on the value you associate with each option i.e, how important is it for you to take the break or complete the H/W on that day.
    – The probability of the choice being fully utilised also plays a role.
    For example, how sure are you that you will fully enjoy during the break or complete the H/W on another day if not that day.
    The decision in this case is based on logical reasoning.

    2) Heuristics- These are the mental shortcuts or ‘rule of thumb’ that influence decision making.
    For example(Representativeness heuristic),
    – Kahneman and Treversky’s Research findings:
    When given certain Personality traits of a person and asked to identify his/her profession. Participants mostly decided based on matching the person’s traits with the representative traits of the particular profession and ignored other factors that could decide the profession.
    – Availability heuristic: When asked if there are more words with a) ‘k’ as the starting letter(eg, king) or b) ‘k’ in the 3rd place. Most of the people would choose ‘a’ due to many words starting with k that come to our mind immediately. But in reality, ‘b’ is correct.

    Therefore, we can say that decision making is based on both logical reasoning and the way things look.

  2. We make decisions everyday, some are minor and some are important in nature. We choose between options and it often presents with a conflict in our mind.

    We weigh 2 factors to make a decision, utility or value of the task and the other probability of how each choice will pan out. Probability whether it will be completed or not, time is limited and introduces constraints on how much we can achieve in a given frame of time.
    Any person will weigh the above stated factors and then make a decision.

    Apart from this, we also judge a situation and, it’s merits and demerits. Our judgements are not elaborative in nature, rather we use shortcuts or heuristics to come to a decision. More than often we judge an object or a situation based on how it looks. This is termed as representative heuristics.

    Example- The way people dress or look often leads to a judgement on which community they belong to, it may or may not be correct.

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